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*Lawn to Lawn* by Dan Yaccarino
Also by Dan Yaccarino:

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau
Lawn to Lawn
by Dan Yaccarino
Grades K-3 40 pages Knopf January 2010 Hardcover    

In an original story about four lawn ornaments - a jockey, a gnome, a deer and a flamingo - who have been left behind after their family moves to “Ritzy Estates,” Dan Yaccarino taps into that part of every child’s imagination which longs to believe that they understand something about the world that adults do not.

The ornaments are dedicated to Pearl, the daughter of the family who has moved. Knowing that staying at the old house will likely mean the curb - and trash truck - the ornaments find a map and become determined to find Pearl’s new home.

Overcoming numerous, humorous obstacles, always mindful of the trash truck, the four encounter others of their kind – gargoyles, statutes, ornamental fountains, etc. They also visit places where they are welcome, including a trailer park and race track. Finally, the group is stopped by a pair of lions guarding “Ritzy Estates.” In the end, it is the trash truck that picks them up and finally takes them to Pearl for a happy reunion.

Cleverly weaving details of an inanimate world, Yaccarino’s full-color illustrations have a “retro” feel characteristic of his other works. End papers include other inanimate objects, such as a totem pole, weather vane and mailbox.

The story itself is fairly predictable, similar to other picture books in which the characters face a problem, overcome the problem through a journey or adventure in which they meet other characters, and finally resolve the problem happily ever after.

Teachers and parents could use this story to discuss sequence and simple plot structure, and to begin a discussion of how different objects can have similar characteristics. The catchy dialog could also be used to demonstrate voice or the use of quotations in punctuation. Recommended for preschool and elementary schoolchildren.

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  Kristine Wildner/2010 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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